National Trust to consider future of grouse shooting on Peak District moors
The National Trust is set to consider the future of grouse shooting on its moors in the Peak District National Park.
It was announced in a statement to the campaign group Wild Moors, formerly known as Ban Bloodsports on Yorkshire's Moors, that land management will be scrutinised in preparation for the next stage of its High Peak Moors Vision in 2023.
This will draw up fresh plans to secure a full range of wildlife, restore nature and mitigate climate change across the uplands of Kinder Scout, Edale and the High Peak.
Wild Moors says that, if a decision to not renew grouse shooting leases is reached, then the National Trust will unlock 13 per cent of the Peak District for nature conservation.
Luke Steele, Executive Director of Wild Moors, said: “The world is fast moving in a direction where restoring land for nature, carbon capture and people is at the forefront of tackling climate change and biodiversity loss.
"By seeking out new avenues to regenerate wildlife and habitats across the Peak District, the National Trust has a clear opportunity to ensure its moorland management practices are fit for the future.“Sadly, for many years the National Trust’s vision for wilder moors has been undermined by a minority who do not share its desire to conserve nature. Birds of prey have been illegally poisoned, shot and trapped, depriving the Peak District of iconic wildlife and damaging the national park’s reputation.
"A decision to end grouse shooting would ensure the area can move forward without this considerable burden.”
Of the six national parks that contain grouse moors, almost a third of their combined land area (27 per cent) is devoted to driven grouse shoots, according to recent research by the charity Rewilding Britain.
The charity says this keeps the land in a degraded state, contributes to climate breakdown, and prevents significant recovery of wildlife.
“We’re urging ministers to show real leadership by creating wilder national parks and setting up core rewilding areas in each of them – in which driven grouse shoots are phased out, and our precious moors brought back to health,” Guy Shrubsole, Rewilding Britain policy and campaigns coordinator, added.